Cooking with lager?
I have been given the opportunity to review Celia – an organic, gluten-free premium Czech lager. There’s just one problem – no one in this house likes drinking beer 🙂 But a quick web search convinced me that it has lots of culinary potential, so I thought we could try cooking with it.
(Apologies to anyone who thinks that’s sacrilegious!)
Apparently there are lots of recipes we could try that include lager. The first one that sprang to my mind would be a beer batter, which is commonly used for homemade fish & chips in the UK. The nice thing about that is that most commercially-made fish and chips uses cow’s milk in the batter, which I should really be avoiding. The same batter would lend itself to other concoctions, including deep-fried courgette flowers, which is worth bearing in mind for next year (or if you’re in the half of the world that’s heading towards summer right now 🙂 ).
My second thought was go for a beef in beer kind of scenario – it is stew season here, after all. A recipe in the Telegraph for Carbonnade of beef calls for slightly more lager than we have (but could easily be scaled down a little, as it serves 6). It wouldn’t be a culinary stretch, and should certainly produce a tasty meal. The same article offers similarly rustic options for a fish stew and a soup with double cream and egg yolks (although it suggests a wheat beer rather than a lager). ‘Lager soup’ sounds like a perfect recipe for a lad’s night in!
So far, so good. But there are a couple of more unusual options that I could take a look at. Lager and Lemon-Grilled Chicken would be great for a summer barbecue, and uses the lager as a marinade (which is, perhaps wastefully, discarded before cooking).
A more intriguing recipe is for Simple lamb rogan josh, which looks as though it could be easily adapted for the slow cooker. It has been a while since I got the pestle and mortar out to work with fresh spices, but I think we have everything on hand (barring the cardamom pods and the actual lamb!).
Or we could even drink it, by trying out a recipe for Nordic God shandy, which may be nice but could also result in a rapid pouring-down-the-sink episode that would be no comment on the lager other than that we’re not lager drinkers….
But the award for the most fun you can have cooking with larger probably goes to Draft magazine, who have a recipe for Lager Waffles With Rosemary-Vanilla Maple Syrup that just sound divine.
Which of these would you try? If you found a bottle of lager lurking around in the back of the cupboard, would you cook with it? Is it a regular ingredient in your cooking?